Saturday, April 13, 2013

Embracing


3/30/12

Today was a very interesting day.  I had the privilege of going to a hospital in Kabul with my aunt to distribute incubators provided by an organization called Embrace.  The hospital that we went to was the first of four on my aunt’s list to receive these incubators that will save the lives of countless children. These incubators are small and portable and come with a heating pad that you heat up for 30 minutes in the AccuTemp heater and slip into the pouch of a special blanket/babywrap, which will keep an infant warm for 4-6 hours.  It’s absolutely genius and I’m so proud of my aunt for all the work she’s put into this project. I know first hand how hard she’s worked because I’ve been helping her out a bit while I’ve been here.
This first hospital is called Rabia Balkhi and to be quite honest, it’s a bit dilapidated.  The structure is old, equipment is pretty outdated and it seems as though they might be a bit understaffed at times. I have visited the hospital twice before and this was my third time seeing some of the struggles the staff face. They have so many patients to take care of and one of their major problems is the deaths of these newborn infants.  Not only Rabia Balkhi, but Afghanistan as a whole has quite a high mortality rate for infants and according to a couple of the nurses there premature births are pretty common.  So what these incubators will do is keep the infants warm and fight against things like hypothermia, which plays a huge role in the deaths of these infants. 
Being there for the training of the hospital staff on how to use these incubators was an extremely amazing experience for me and I’m very happy that I got to help in the process (I was the photographer and transported the bags containing the incubators).  This was definitely an experience I’ll never forget and I hope that these incubators will be a success.  
These are photos of my aunt introducing the incubators and instructing a couple of nurses on how to use the Accutemp heater/blanket.